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Uh, What's That?

Rodric Anthony is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. Creating new stories and seeing where they take him is his passion.

Bill Holland issued a challenge to take the below image and write. The following is my muse telling me what this picture is about. This challenge is from the #364 Mailbag entry Bill shares with writers to inspire and instruct writers by answering our questions.

  • The Writer's Mailbag: Installment #364
    Welcome to the 7th Anniversary of The Mailbag! For seven years we have been coming together, weekly, to discuss the Art of Writing. Won't you join us on this, our anniversary day?

“What is that thing? Is it a cow or bison or something? I don’t know.”

“You’re the expert! What is that thing in the middle of the road and can we eat it.”

“Eat it? It might be poisonous."

“It ain’t like we had the best of luck out here on this trip. How we gonna eat something that big without cooking it first?”

“Oh, so you call what we’re doing, a trip? How many laws do you think we have broken--no, defiled since we been out here? We ain’t got no license to hunt and we at a park? Leave that cow thingy alone.”

“Who’s idea was it to leave the keys in the RV to go exploring in the woods? It wasn’t mine!”

“Nobody forced you to use all the battery life of your mobile phone playing games in the dark because you couldn’t get a signal. We could have called someone by now, a park ranger or something!”

“My point is, can we eat it. It is big like a cow, and I am hungry!”

“It has been one day, man! The protein bar was not enough? You already look like a linebacker on steroids! Leave that cow alone! And, why would you bring a handgun on the trip?”

“There you go again calling it a trip. And, why DID you bring a handgun with you? You just got licensed last month to carry it. I don’t think a 22 will do anything to that moose anyway.

“That is definitely not a moose. I think it’s a bison or a buffalo.”

“If I shoot it in the eye…

“You will make it mad and it will charge us! I don’t care how much you can bench press, dude, you ain’t gonna win a fight with that cow, moose, chicken--whatever the heck it is!

“Lets everybody calm down and figure out what to do. We are at a road. We can follow it.”

“What if the moose, bison, buffalo, chicken-thing doesn’t like all of us walking toward it or away from it--I haven’t decided which direction would work best.

“If I shoot it in the mouth…”

“Put the dang gun away and stop with the murdery murdery, okay? We can wait until we get our RV back or find a park ranger.

“How do you know someone drove off with the RV? We could have just gone the wrong way. You are the idiot who wanted to go off-roading in the thing!

“There was a deer! It scared me! You mean to tell me you would have me just hit the thing? I’m sure we would have wrecked the RV besides the poor mama deer.”

“It could have been a daddy deer.”

“Funny! Mama dear and daddy dear! You get it! Do you get it?

“Oh, my peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich! You, with the dear deer and the baby and the papa…

“He didn’t say, baby. He just…”

“Did you have to keep driving for ten minutes into the woods? At some point, you had to realize you missed the deer! You just kept driving!”

“I was having a panic attack, okay! I almost ended a creature’s life! It’s not like you drunk idiots were helping with the yelling. Oh, and this one with the gun!”

“I was not drunk! ...more like high. You know, we have our marijuana card.”

“If I shoot it in the ear…”

“Please! Please, put the 22 back in the holster. We cannot eat a bison, chicken-thing!”

“It is definitely not a chicken thing.”

“Everything tastes like chicken. That must be God’s favorite meat flavor. Snakes, squirrels, possums… all taste like chicken.”

“I know! Cousin Johnny fried up some squirrel and I thought it was chicken with tiny bones. By the by, it is not a possum, it is an opossum.”

“I did not know that. I always called it a possum.”

“Me too!”

“I know, right!”

“Fellas, fellas! Which way do we go? We do not know where the RV is. I am sure we did no get Grand-Theft-Autoed. We just lost our way in the woods."

“Why did we go in the woods in the first place, with psycho here?

“If I shoot it in the neck…’

“Oh my freakin’ heck, man! You already shot an eagle! An eagle!"

“It was a mistake, and you know he didn’t mean to shoot that bird.”

“I thought it was an owl.”

“I am sure that is illegal too.”

“I never tasted owl. I wonder if it tastes...”

“I bet it tastes like chicken. I bet that bison tastes like a cow, though--or a chicken. If I shoot it under its snout...”

“It could be a buffalo.”

“I say, no.”

“Why did we all go in the woods for special-ed here, when he’s drunk to take a leak?”

“It’s my medicine. The card is in my pocket right next to the holster!”

“He wouldn’t leave the gun and we didn’t want him shooting any innocent creatures.”

“Which he did anyway.”

“Owls aren’t innocent. They are wise.”

“I could have stayed in the RV, but no. We all had to go into the woods for a mile for him to find the right spot to urinate! Bloody hell!”


“Can-it with the swear jar, ‘uhs,’ okay! All I said was hell.”

“Technically, you said, “bloody hell” which both are considered…”

“Shut it!”

“Fine, I was just saying…”


“I could have sworn I heard you say piss earlier..”

“In other news, the cow thing is still not moving and neither am I.”

“If we all went in different directions it will possibly only get one of us.”

“That would be a thing to see. You go first and I will run the other direction.”

“I can definitely shoot it in the mouth and take it down!”


“You all don’t have to yell at once, gesh.”

“You don’t have to shoot it either!”

“I’m hungry. I want a burger.”

“We have no matches or buns, and, let’s see, it’s a whole cow!”

“I say, bison.”

“No, definitely a buffalo.”

“It’s a chicken thing.”

“For the love of all that is sane! How do you see a chicken when you look at that monster of a beast?”

“Have you ever seen a chicken in real life?”

“I saw one on TV, but no.”

“So, you don’t actually know that’s not a chicken.”

“You know, I am trying really hard not to say bad words right now.”

“Just say it. You will feel so much better, I bet.”


“Wow. You actually said ‘bad words.”

“Bad words, bad words, bad words, bad words!”

“I am going for it. I am going to stand in front of the cow.”



“Chicken! It could be a chicken! …maybe a turkey.”

“Bad words.”

“Why do we all have to go if this fool goes? Let him get trampled.”

“You know why.”

“Okay, let’s go.”

“Oh, it is moving!”

“It left the road.”

Out walks the single man from his hiding place behind the tree and heads down the singular road seeking for his RV or park ranger, 22 at his side.

© 2021 Rodric Anthony Johnson


Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on June 10, 2021:

I am happy to oblige, Denise. I hoped that what I wrote would be funny. I don't do that often. I think I should do it again!

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on June 09, 2021:

Ok, I had to laugh. "Bad Words!" That is too funny. And eagles are protected. It's illegal to even harm an eagle egg. Thanks for the laugh.



Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on June 09, 2021:

Bill, the 22 was the only gun I could think of at the time that I knew would probably make it made. I did not know what that was, which is where I started the prompt. I thought it could be a bison, so I looked it up after writing the script. I love where my muse took me with this prompt. Thank you for providing that opportunity to write. It really lifted my writing spirit.

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Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on June 09, 2021:

Shauna, thanks for the compliment. Having to entertain kids and teens for the last 20 years, I like to think I can cause a smile with a story. When I saw the prompt, my Muse saw a story that I could let the reader fill in all the unwritten details. It was so fun seeing how I emoted the characters. I did not see them as bungling idiots, which means my purpose was served!

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on June 09, 2021:

Pamela, I laughed while writing it because I had not idea where I was going! It was fun. I am glad you enjoyed it.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 09, 2021:

Too funny, my friend. I'll bet it tastes like chicken had me howling. By the way, if you've never had it, a bison burger is absolutely delicious.

Thanks for taking up the challenge. My suggestion: don't shoot it with a .22. You're just going to annoy it. lol

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 09, 2021:

This was a lot of fun. I love that the entire story is dialogue. I could picture the bungling idiots staggering around trying to figure out what to do with the chicken-thing. You've got quite the sense of humor, Rodric!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 09, 2021:

This story is so much fun to read, Rodric. You certainly met Bill's prompt. I laughed throughout this story. What a delight!

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on June 08, 2021:

John, I am glad you found it funny. I went with what I was feeling and basically, a script came out.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on June 08, 2021:

This was a delight, Rodric. I am still laughing...”chicken thing.”

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